An Antidote to Loneliness: Keeping Company with Others

man and woman holding hands

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! Peace be within your walls and security within your towers!” For my brothers and companions’ sake I will say, “Peace be within you!” [Psalm 122:1,6-8]

“How are you doing?” you ask someone. “Good and you?” they respond, and you honestly have no idea what that means or how it answers your question. What is supposed to be a bridge to community and conversation has effectively been a roadblock to anything meaningful.

Often, we approach conversations with closed hearts and minds. We have the appearance of wanting to connect, but no bandwidth to make it happen. God has hardwired us for community (“Let us make man in our image,” God said in Genesis 1), yet disconnection and loneliness are much more common in our world.

And it isn’t only people who are physically isolated who feel alone. When we don’t feel known and accepted, we feel alone and rejected. It doesn’t matter if we are surrounded with people, we want to be known and accepted.  

One of the most common prayer requests is for other people and relationships. These are of the utmost importance for us, and there is no better way for us to keep company with others than to be praying. Who knows another person better than God, the One who made them? Who accepts another person more than Jesus, the One who died for them? Who will unite people more effectively than the Holy Spirit, who fills all of God’s children? We keep company with others by praying for them and with them.

The single best indicator for if a couple will stay married “till death do us part” is if they pray together regularly. Not if they are Christians, or if they go to church, or if they read the Bible. Those are all great, but something happens when people pray together. They become known to the other person in a way that doesn’t happen otherwise in this world. They feel accepted and cherished in a way that isn’t present through any other activity.

If you desire to keep company with others, be praying regularly for them. And take the next step: pray with them. Ask them, “How can I pray for you?” And then pray. Maybe even tell them how they could be praying for you.

God has given us a beautiful connection in Christ; let’s keep company with others today through prayer.

Dear God, I pray along with (fill in the blank), giving you thanks for who they are, and that they are in my life. I ask that you would (fill in the request), and remind them how much they mean to me. They are a blessing in this world, and I pray that you would continue to make your love known to them and through them. Keep us united by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN

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